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Best Way to Experience First Fridays Phoenix 2010 - The Red Dress Tours (Caminando de Rojo)

Kara Roschi and Ernesto Moncada came up with the idea to offer insider tours of First Friday spots last spring, when street closures turned off a lot of folks to the popular art walk. Even though the Phoestival was discontinued (at least for a while), the pair went ahead with a bilingual tour of the Roosevelt District for September's First Friday, with plans for future tours of Grand Avenue and Central Phoenix. We love this idea. Roschi, a performance artist, dons a fancy red dress for the occasion, hence the name. The tours are free, and all are welcome. Check out The Red Dress Tours Facebook page for more details, or call 480-225-9735.
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Kara Roschi
Kara Roschi

Wayne, why do you consistently and publicly rail against this project wherever it happens to garner favorable press?

My tours are free, fun, and just getting started. All start-ups take some time, patience, and consistency. The first tour had an assembly of 25-30 folks that ebbed and flowed throughout the evening, this last averaged about a dozen, and as the case with non-RSVP events, I have no idea how many folks are thinking of attending the light rail tour.

As I had said in my response to your nasty diatribe on my last press article, I have some very active local arts consumers on my tour (and no, that's not just a euphemism for people who make small contributions in one way or another-- but ACTUAL collectors! Holy cow!) And the others are there mostly for the fun of it. To see some great art and spread the word about it. Maybe they remember the work and the artist when they have the means to invest. Or, as has happened on the tour already, someone sees a work and actively saves up to buy it, though they can't afford it that evening. As Julie said, building a network of folks who love the downtown, the art, the culture, can't be such a bad thing, can it?

And, please, instead of being a naysayer-- give me some constructive criticism! Like I said, I'm just getting started and need some help on figuring out how to get folks downtown, how to disseminate the information, and how to encourage investment!

(On a side note....and I'm little surprised to be explaining the concept to a visual artist.... my 'self-absorbed dress up' and 'Miss Kitty costume' is to create visual spectacle. Like encouraging everyone to wear red. When we're out and we're visible-- heck, YOU saw us! -- it's free advertising for the next tour. And playing 'tour guide' is one of the many costumes I've donned as a performance artist. If you think something like a sandwich board would be a better way to attract attention and encourage increased attendance, again, feel free to contribute HELPFUL input. Maybe I can borrow your 'Starving Artist' sandwich sign?)

Julie Peterson
Julie Peterson

Wayne, you have an entirely valid point, and I love the way you suck all the fun out of life while making it. Over and over. One thing I find indisputable is that however many people see art and don't buy any, no one who hasn't seen it is going to buy it. Or talk about it. Or recommend it to someone else. So why is it so horrible to get more people seeing it? It's not a zero-sum game in which only one strategy can be pursued.

Wayne Michael Reich
Wayne Michael Reich

It is a great idea!

The seven people I saw last night taking the tour really did seem to be enjoying themselves.

None of them appeared to be holding any purchased art, but we all know that First Friday is really about being seen- not actually doing anything of value in relation to helping the local artists.

Do you want to "support" the arts?

Buy art. Lose the Miss Kitty costume.It is that simple.

Real support comes from creating economic stability, not playing self absorbed dress up.

respectfully,Wayne Michael Reich